Title and Author: Time’s Twisted Arrow by Rysa Walker (Goodreads | Amazon)
Publisher: Gypsy Moon Books
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Pages: 351 pages
Source: Received review copy as part of tour
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
“Sharp writing, a flair for dialogue and a big, twisting imagination.” – Kirkus Reviews.
They weren’t panic attacks. Of that, seventeen year old Kate is certain, no matter what the shrink told her parents. But it’s even harder to accept the explanation offered by her terminally ill grandmother – that Kate has inherited designer DNA from the time-traveling historians of CHRONOS, who were stranded in the past by a saboteur. Kate knows that her grandmother’s story could easily be the brain tumor talking, but that doesn’t explain the odd medallion or the two young men – one of them hauntingly familiar — who simply vanish before her eyes on the subway. It doesn’t explain Trey, the handsome stranger who now occupies Kate’s assigned seat in trig class. And it definitely doesn’t explain why Kate is now in an alternate timeline, where leaders of a previously unknown cult hold great power and are planning a rather drastic form of environmental defense.
In this new reality, Kate’s grandmother was murdered at age twenty-two on a research trip to the past, which means that Kate’s mother was never born, her father doesn’t know her and, for all intents and purposes, she doesn’t exist. The only thing keeping her from disappearing entirely is the strange blue medallion around her neck, and the only thing keeping her sane is her burgeoning relationship with Trey. To restore the time line, Kate must travel back to 1893 and keep herself and her grandmother clear of H.H. Holmes, the serial killer who is stalking young women at the Chicago World’s Fair. But that choice comes at a price – she’ll remember the past few months with Trey, but when he looks at her, he’ll see a total stranger.
Time travel can be so tricky: if you don’t build it and sell it well, it falls apart. Luckily, Ryse Walker built this one quite well, and I loved this book a lot. I was pretty thoroughly convinced by the world-building, the character-building, and even though we are dealing with the confusion the comes with the implications of time travel as presented by this book, I was thoroughly satisfied by the way the author led us through everything.
Although there are 2 swoon-worthy love interests for Kate, our main character, the circumstances did not read like a clichéd love triangle to me. Other readers might disagree, but know that I’m getting tired of the triangle thing, so my radar is tuned pretty high for that.
I like books that don’t end up giving me every single answer — there was a nice resolution, but not a cliffhanger, and the possibilities for future stories in this book’s universe are endless. I look forward to seeing where Walker takes us next. There were lots of things hinted at, or left open that would be nice to have answered. With the twists involved in this book, I can only imagine what twisty ways in which we’ll get those answers.
I don’t believe in going on and on and writing my own novel in response to the books I’ve read: I like to know what people thought, so that I can find out if this might fit with something I’d be interested in reading. I could write a longer review, but I’d rather just suggest that if you enjoy time travel novels, you should check this one out. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next installment!
RYSA WALKER grew up on a cattle ranch in the South. Her options for entertainment were talking to cows and reading books. (Occasionally, she would mix things up a bit and read books to cows.) On the rare occasion that she gained control of the television, she watched Star Trek and imagined living in the future, on distant planets, or at least in a town big enough to have a stop light.
When not writing, she teaches history and government in North Carolina, where she shares an office with her husband, who heroically pays the mortgage each month, and a golden retriever named Lucy. She still doesn’t get control of the TV very often, thanks to two sports-obsessed kids.
There are TWO giveaways you can participate in:
First is for one (1) ebook copy of Time’s Twisted Arrow. Open internationally. This giveaway is only here on my blog. In order to enter, you just need to comment on this post. Be sure to enter a valid e-mail address when you comment, as this is how I’ll contact you. Entries will be open until March 10th at midnight. One entry per person, I’ll use Random.org to pick a winner.
The second giveaway is for the grand prize for the entire tour and includes a signed copy of Walker’s book, as well as a $25 Amazon.com gift card! (See the Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter form for the details).
What a helpful, thoughtful review! I’m glad that you talked about how good the world building was and how annoying (or not) the love triangle was, since those are definitely things I want to know going into a book 🙂